In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience — end slavery or end the war.









Film information

Genre: , , ,
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Nov 9, 2012
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
Official website:
Runtime: 149 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 100 - by Andrew O'Hehir
    Whatever moment of inspiration caused Spielberg to cast her (Sally Field) as Mary Todd Lincoln, it was sheer genius, because this is a role that demands bigness. more

  • 100
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic. It is smaller and quieter than that. more

  • 100
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Mick LaSalle
    The experience of watching Daniel Day-Lewis in this role is nothing less than thrilling. This is Lincoln. No need for a time machine, there he is. more

  • 100
    Washington Post - by Ann Hornaday
    Instead of a grand tableau vivant that lays out the great man and his great deeds like so many too-perfect pieces of waxed fruit, Spielberg brings the leader and viewers down to ground level. more

  • 100
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Day-Lewis works famously, and phenomenally, from the inside out. The mystery at the core of his gorgeous performance, which is enhanced by Mr. Kushner's script, has to do with his masterly grasp of Lincoln's quicksilver spirit. more

  • 100
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    Go see this movie. Take your children, even though they may occasionally be confused or fidgety. Boredom and confusion are also part of democracy, after all. Lincoln is a rough and noble democratic masterpiece - an omen, perhaps, that movies for the people shall not perish from the earth. ...

  • 100
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Roger Ebert
    Rarely has a film attended more carefully to the details of politics. more

  • 100
    Time Out New York - by Joshua Rothkopf
    Defiantly intellectual, complex and true to the shifting winds of real-world governance, Lincoln is not the movie that this election season has earned-but one that a more perfect union can aspire to. more

  • 100
    Entertainment Weekly - by Owen Gleiberman
    The movie is grand and immersive. It plugs us into the final months of Lincoln's presidency with a purity that makes us feel transported as though by time machine. more

  • 90
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    If it sounds like so much backroom politicking, it is. But it's exceptionally interesting, entertaining backroom politicking. ...

  • 90
    Movieline - by Alison Willmore
    This is Day-Lewis' movie, and he does with the meditative inner stillness of his character a wonderful thing - he finds a type of heroism that runs counter to all of the usual showy movie signifiers of such a quality. more

  • 90
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    There is nothing bravura or overly emotional about Spielberg's direction here, but the impeccable filmmaking is no less impressive for being quiet and to the point. more

  • 90
    Village Voice - by Chris Packham
    This Lincoln, stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool. more

  • 90
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    Lincoln is too sharply focused to deserve the pejorative "biopic" label. It's splendid enough to make me wish Spielberg would make a "prequel" to this instead of another Indiana Jones picture. more

  • 88
    ReelViews - by James Berardinelli
    Lincoln paints a powerful and compelling portrait of the man who has become an icon. We don't need to see more of his life to understand how rare a figure he was - this window is more than sufficient. more

  • 88
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    Never mind a few misguided casting choices; Lincoln is exceptionally good, elevated by a preternatural star turn, and by the energy and invention its director displays in telling a story that doesn't rely on action and special effects. more

  • 88
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Rick Groen
    Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg but, to his great credit, few will mistake this for a Steven Spielberg film. Rather, it's a Tony Kushner film, the playwright who conjured up the wordy but intricately layered script; and it's a Daniel Day-Lewis film, the actor who so richly embodies the iconic title role. more

  • 88
    USA Today - by Claudia Puig
    Through this very specific look at a critical time in Lincoln's presidency, Kushner, Spielberg and Day-Lewis work together to present an honest look at America's most revered statesman. Kushner finds an artful way to weave in the texts of the Gettysburg Address and the 13th Amendment, as well as a creative way to present Lincoln's assassination. more

  • 88
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    It makes politics exciting again. more

  • 88
    Rolling Stone - by Peter Travers
    The result, glitches and all, is a great American movie. more

  • 88
    Slant Magazine - by R. Kurt Osenlund
    Steven Spielberg's film may further the heroism so associated with its subject, and favor a liberal viewpoint that leers down at the Confederates, but it's no bleeding-heart glamorization. more

  • 80
    NPR - by Ian Buckwalter
    This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing - even if that means few wrong things along on the way. more

  • 80
    New York Daily News - by Joe Neumaier
    The history lesson in Steven Spielberg's austere, engrossing Lincoln is less about the revered President himself but his method for justice. ...

  • 80
    Time - by Richard Corliss
    This high-IQ sermon is long but never lazy. Renouncing his tendency to make every movie take emotional flight, Spielberg sticks to the story as Kushner has artfully compressed it. Lincoln is brain food and, at another pivotal moment in American political history, an instructive feast. more

  • 80
    Boxoffice Magazine - by Pete Hammond
    This is not really a biopic of the great President as the title might indicate, but rather a fascinating, savvy look at the inner-workings of the political process and how things in the White House get - or don't get - done. more

  • 80
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Todd McCarthy
    Tony Kushner's densely packed script has been directed by Spielberg in an efficient, unpretentious way that suggests Michael Curtiz at Warner Bros. in the 1940s, right down to the rogue's gallery of great character actors in a multitude of bewhiskered supporting roles backing up a first-rate leading performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. ...

  • 80
    The Guardian - by Katey Rich
    If only modern American politics were remotely as entertaining. more

  • 75
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    Spielberg manages to give us a Lincoln for our times, inspiringly heroic but demonstrably human. more

  • 75
    Tampa Bay Times - by Steve Persall
    Lincoln is like a thoroughly researched poli-sci term paper come to life, with interesting personal material about the participants relegated to footnotes. more

  • 75
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    Whenever Jones is on screen, the film's energy level kicks up several notches, an indication, I think, that Spielberg otherwise overdoses on directorial decorum. ...

  • 75
    New York Post - by Lou Lumenick
    It's a must-see for Daniel Day-Lewis' charismatic, subtly shaded performance as Lincoln - and an even richer one by Tommy Lee Jones. more

  • 75
    indieWIRE - by Eric Kohn
    At two and a half hours, Lincoln contains only a single battle scene in its opening seconds. The rest is pure talk, a keen dramatization of Doris Kearns Goodwin's tome "Team of Rivals," that delivers an overview of Lincoln's crowning achievement in chunks of strategy talk. more

  • 75
    The A.V. Club - by Keith Phipps
    Lincoln is built around a magnetic Day-Lewis turn, and the film is a memorable, sometimes stirring look at how even the most righteous bill must struggle, and even cheat, to become a law. It demands a bigger stage than the one it's given here. more

  • 70
    The New Yorker - by Anthony Lane
    Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is a curious beast. The title suggests a monolith, as if going to this movie were tantamount to visiting Mt. Rushmore, and the running time, of two and a half hours, prepares you for an epic. Yet the film is a cramped and ornery affair, with Spielberg going into lockdown mode even more thoroughly than he did in "The Terminal." more

  • 70
    Variety - by Peter Debruge
    The result looks as much like a Natural History Museum diorama as it sounds: a respectful but waxy re-creation that feels somehow awe-inspiring yet chillingly lifeless to behold, the great exception being Jones' alternately blistering and sage turn as Stevens. more

  • 67
    Austin Chronicle - by Kimberley Jones
    His (Spielberg) is an old-fashioned style of moviemaking that can produce soaring entertainment or, alternately, a fussed-over theatricality. Minute to minute, Lincoln moves between these extremes. more

  • 50
    The Playlist - by Drew Taylor
    There's something deeply poetic about Lincoln making his way through a changed nation to meet his demise. Such poetry is nowhere to be found in Lincoln. more

  • 50
    New York Observer - by Rex Reed
    Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake - which, like the film itself, didn't always work. more

One of the many, many smart decisions made by director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner when developing Lincoln was not to make it a traditional bio-pic of the 16th U.S. president. Inste...
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As the title character of Steven Spielberg's solemnly transfixing Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis is tall and elegantly stooped, with thatchy gray-black hair, sunken cheeks, and a grin that tugs at the corn...
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Photo by David James © Dreamworks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is everything a film about that towering figure ought to be: majestic yet intimat...
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Dressed in black, wearing a stovepipe hat, there he is, the President and leader of the Union during the Civil War. This tall man's shoulders are hunched, no doubt, from the many burdens he had to bea...
-www.spiritualityandpractice.comRead More
By January 1865, the US suffered the carnage of four years of civil war with its hundreds of thousands dead. Victory is near and the President, Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis), sees that the time w...
-www.reelingreviews.comRead More
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